This blog is based on a learning portal seminar hosted by Peter Dobinson, Solutions Architect at NetDimensions’ partner company LEO, at the NextSteps 2017 conference in London.
While a Learning Management System (LMS) provides a wealth of diverse information for your learners, portals act as a neat destination on more focused areas. As well as being gateways to further learning, portals are popular with NetDimensions’ clients because of their capacity to provide everything from guidance about new working processes to insights into user engagement.
Why do organizations like learning portals?
There are a lot of reasons why companies find learning portals highly effective. You can target a specific audience – potentially employees, customers or anyone who wants to access your learning programmes – and focus on a precise business impact area or goal, such as sales learning, with a holistic solution.
The term “learning portal” is used liberally in the training industry, but what does it really mean?
By common definition, a portal is described as a gateway, doorway or entrance. Likewise, in computing it generally refers to a website that provides links or gateways to other websites. This idea affords businesses with the opportunity to consolidate relevant learning resources and tools into one location to accomplish a specific business or learning goal.
So, how is a portal different from a Learning Management System (LMS)? It’s a fair question with a fuzzy answer.
LMS’ such as NetDimensions Talent Suite are highly configurable and are capable of providing a portal-like experience using out-of-the-box functionality. However, organizations commonly configure their LMS as a one-size-fits-all solution to provide a superset of content and tools for many people within the organization, and covering many different subject areas.
A custom portal, on the other hand, provides a learning experience that targets a specific business goal, audience or subject area to deliver a focused, holistic learning solution. Today, we see that businesses are developing portals for multiple subject areas, including:
- New hire onboarding
- Sales training
- Service training
- Manufacturing training
- Compliance or technical training
- Extended enterprise and more
So what’s the big deal?